Dave Stancliff 2009-09-27 blogarama.com

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Liu Bolin...The Invisible Man...

This guy paints himself... no trick photography ... no photoshop ...he just paints himself...can you see him in this photo yet? There’s more examples of Bolin’s art here.

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Schwarzenegger asked to close prostitute website that rates women

Will “The Terminator” put a stop to “Punternet?” Or, will be be hesitant to put a California-based business - “out of business?” Stay tuned…this ought to be interesting:

LONDON (Reuters) – A British government minister asked California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday to shut down a U.S. website that allows men to rate prostitutes, including many working in London.

Harriet Harman, minister for women and equality, told the ruling Labor Party's annual conference that "Punternet" fuels the demand for prostitution -- a vice she said degrades women and puts them at risk.

She said the web site was a "very sinister development" in the trade and exploitation of women and allows guests to compare and rate services in the same way as they would a restaurant, a hotel or a holiday.

Pimps put women on sale for sex on the site then clients offered their comments on line, she said.

"Punternet has pages and pages of women for sale in London," said Harman, who is deputy leader of Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Labor Party.

She said she had raised the issue with the U.S. ambassador to Britain and asked California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to close it down as it is based in that state. Read the rest here.

Some reasons why we lost the Olympic bid

Other funny stuff

Man's face after he hears Chicago lost the bid

Haiti Makes Bid For 2216 Olympics

DeRosa brings 2016 Olympics to St. Louis

Reports: Obama traveling to Denmark in support of Kenya 2016

Friday, October 2, 2009

US relinquishes control of the internet

Icann ends agreement with the US government
• Move will give other countries a prominent internet role

By Bobbie Johnson

“After complaints about American dominance of the internet and growing disquiet in some parts of the world, Washington has said it will relinquish some control over the way the network is run and allow foreign governments more of a say in the future of the system.

Icann – the official body that ultimately controls the development of the internet thanks to its oversight of web addresses such as .com, .net and .org – said today that it was ending its agreement with the US government.

The deal, part of a contract negotiated with the US department of commerce, effectively pushes California-based Icann towards a new status as an international body with greater representation from companies and governments around the globe.

Icann had previously been operating under the auspices of the American government, which had control of the net thanks to its initial role in developing the underlying technologies used for connecting computers together.

But the fresh focus will give other countries a more prominent role in determining what takes place online, and even the way in which it happens – opening the door for a virtual United Nations, where many officials gather to discuss potential changes to the internet.

Icann chief Rod Beckstrom, a former Silicon Valley entrepreneur and Washington insider who took over running the organisation in July, said there had been legitimate concerns that some countries were developing alternative internets as a way of routing around American control.”

Click here to read the rest at the UK Guardian

Quotations about Statistics

The following is from The Income Team Blog and was gathered by Steven;

The average human has one breast and one testicle.  ~Des McHale

Torture numbers, and they’ll confess to anything.  ~Gregg Easterbrook in The New Republic

69.8% of all statistics are made up.  ~Author Unknown

Statistics are like bikinis.  What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.  ~Aaron Levenstein

Say you were standing with one foot in the oven and one foot in an ice bucket.  According to the percentage people, you should be perfectly comfortable.  ~Bobby Bragan, 1963

Statistics can be made to prove anything - even the truth.  ~Author Unknown

Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.  ~Author Unknown

Lottery:  A tax on people who are bad at math.  ~Author Unknown

He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lampposts - for support rather than for illumination.  ~Andrew Lang

Do not put your faith in what statistics say until you have carefully considered what they do not say.  ~William W. Watt

Then there is the man who drowned crossing a stream with an average depth of six inches.  ~W.I.E. Gates

There are two kinds of statistics, the kind you look up and the kind you make up.  ~Rex Stout, Death of a Doxy

I always find that statistics are hard to swallow and impossible to digest.  The only one I can ever remember is that if all the people who go to sleep in church were laid end to end they would be a lot more comfortable.  ~Mrs. Robert A. Taft

There’s more here.

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'Suit & tie' jailbreak guy caught

By LARRY CELONA, PHILIP MESSING and LAURA ITALIANO

“An inmate who casually walked out of a Manhattan courthouse posing as a lawyer was nabbed last night, as new details emerged indicating a correction officer's stunning breach of protocol could have allowed the escape.

Ronald Tackman, 56, was arrested as he got off a bus near a friend's house in Washington Heights just before 9 p.m. sources said.

Officers received a tip he'd be in the area, and he was arrested without incident.

Earlier yesterday, sources revealed that on Wednesday, a guard removed Tackman's handcuffs and those of eight other arrivals from Rikers Island as they stood in the 12th-floor hallway at 100 Centre Street.” Click here to read the rest at The New York Post.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dwarves found 'theme park' commune to escape bullying

A community of dwarves has set up its own village to escape discrimination from normal sized people.

Everyone in the mountain commune in Kunming, southern China, must be under 4ft 3 ins tall and they run their own police force and fire brigade from their 120 residents.

Now the group has turned itself into a tourist attraction by building mushroom houses and living and dressing like fairy tale characters.

"As small people we are used to being pushed around and exploited by big people. But here there aren't any big people and everything we do is for us," said spokesman Fu Tien.

The idea of housing dwarves in special compounds would be anathema in the West, and the village has sparked fierce debates among expats living in China.

"When I first heard this I pictured myself obscure freak shows from a hundred years back," wrote one commenter on the GoKunming website. "Pay the entrance fee and you can watch these people perform."

But others said that it was the dwarves' best chance of employment given the surplus of labor in China.

"We might feel aghast at treating humans this way but this is the best way the Chinese government can deal with the situation right now," wrote Tonyaod.

"Go back a hundred years or so in our culture and we will see that we did the same thing à la the freakshows and the circus."

Photo and story via The Telegraph

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Farmer's daughter disarms terrorist and shoots him dead with AK47

An Indian farmer’s daughter disarmed a terrorist leader who broke into her home, attacked him with an axe and shot him dead with his own gun.

By Dean Nelson in New Delhi

Rukhsana Kausar, 21, was with her parents and brother in Jammu and Kashmir when three gunmen, believed to be Pakistani militants, forced their way in and demanded food and beds for the night.

Their house in Shahdra Sharief, Rajouri district, is about 20 miles from the ceasefire line between Indian and Pakistani forces.

It is close to dense forests known as hiding places for fighters from the Lashkar-e-Taiba group, which carried out the Mumbai terrorist attack last November.

Militants often demand food and lodging in nearby villages.

When they forced their way into Miss Kausar’s home, her father Noor Mohammad refused their demands and was attacked.

His daughter was hiding under a bed when she heard him crying as the gunmen thrashed him with sticks. According to police, she ran towards her father’s attacker and struck him with an axe. As he collapsed, she snatched his AK47 and shot him dead.

She also shot and wounded another militant as he made his escape.

Police have hailed the woman’s bravery.

They said she would be nominated for the president’s gallantry award.

She may also receive a £4,000 reward if, as police believe, the dead terrorist is confirmed as Uzafa Shah, a wanted Pakistani LeT commander who had been active in the area for the past four years.

Supt Shafqat Watali said Miss Kausar’s reaction was “a rude shock” for the militants. “Normally they get king-like treatment but this was totally unexpected,” he said.

Miss Kausar said she had never fired an assault rifle before but had seen it in films and could not stand by while her father was being hurt. “I couldn’t bear my father’s humiliation. If I’d failed to kill him, they would have killed us,” she said

Text and story via The Telegraph

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Cannibals, presidential alien abduction, and clowns in space

By Lili Ladaga

On the menu for the latest edition of Weird Science: Cosmic cannibals, a presidential alien abduction and clowns in space. Bon appétit!

You gonna eat that? The Andromeda galaxy, our nearest neighbor in space, turns out to have a nasty appetite. Using a telescope scan, astronomers have found evidence of Andromeda's galactic meals. From the AP:

"What we're seeing right now are the signs of cannibalism," said study lead author Alan McConnachie of the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics in Victoria, British Columbia. "We're finding things that have been destroyed ... partly digested remains."

Earth's galaxy, the Milky Way, is next on Andromeda's snack list. John Dubinksi, co-author of the project, says the two galaxies are headed toward each other at a rate of 75 miles per second. But not to worry: We won't be dinner for another few billion years.

Click here to read the rest of this article.

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Trouble getting up in the morning?

The best morning alarm in the world is a sneaky elbow in the ribs – but if you are a singleton or have a partner even more sleepy-headed than yourself, you will be the owner of a digital waking assistant, better known as an alarm clock.

The first thing you want to do with your alarm clock when it starts warbling is, of course, batter it to a pulp. (You’re only human). This alarm – called Smash – encourages such “percussive maintenance” by having the switch buried underneath a deformable top. Hammer it with your fist and blessed tranquility will return. Go to WebUrbanist to see more alarm clocks.

(Image via: Hometone)

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Desert Rats and other Folk

“Clearly I remember it was in early December of 1983, when I met an old Desert Rat named Harry who took a liking to me. 
He lived in Wonder Valley
and was a WWII veteran naval captain whose name was Harry Malley.
We drank ouzo on his back porch watching the sun slowly slip into bloody orange hues on hot desert nights when he turned the clock back with his tales of tanker ships and whales.
One day Harry walked into a dream and forgot who and where he was.
And all the doctors and his two friends, Ralph and I, watched his brain slowly die.
In the end there was no one.
Only one sister who lived in Greece and who sent back any correspondence from him unopened, unloved…
Years of sad letters left behind unopened never told the story why A mystery about Harry
.

Poor old Harry, who to everyone’s amazement left behind over a million dollars in three banks!
I sometimes wonder why Harry was so alone and why he had to die
by his own hand with a gun Ralph and I
didn’t know he had.
So damn sad.
A lonely old man who built a house that had a circular hall
who also must have had a story he didn’t want to share
and by pulling that trigger he no longer had to care.”

Dave Stancliff 

-excerpt from my unpublished book - “Desert Rats and other Folk” 

ABOVE PHOTO: Old Gold by Alan Brown

Accepting Emptiness

´All form is empty´. These words of the Buddha are not a philosophy. It is not some sort of postmodern credo avant la lettre, meant to show that there is no meaning, no value or purpose in life; that in the end there is only a mere nothing as life is concerned.

The Sunyata, the Emptiness, which is at the center of the Buddhistic doctrine, is often not adequately understood.

It is not a pessimistic or fatalistic doctrine, coined by a depressed mind prone to heavy drinking and on the verge of suicide. No, it is the total and deep experience of a very healthy consciousness. For Sunyata is one of the deepest realizations of meditative consciousness. It is what we all experience when we close our eyes and study the interiority of life.

Click here to read the rest at Home Planet

Scientists say plutonium shortage could stall space exploration

by NELL GREENFIELDBOYCE

NASA is running out of the special kind of plutonium needed to power deep space probes, worrying planetary scientists who say the USA urgently needs to restart production of plutonium-238.

But it's unclear whether Congress will provide the $30 million that the administration requested earlier this year for the Department of Energy to get a new program going.

Nuclear weapons use plutonium-239, but NASA depends on something quite different: plutonium-238. A marshmallow-sized pellet of plutonium-238, encased in metal, gives off a lot of heat. Click here to read the rest at npr.

Food for thought: the 20 FUNNIEST RESTAURANT PUN NAMES

Posted by Jillian Madison of Food Network Humor
Click here to see the other 18 “punny”names!
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Secrets of the brain: The grey matter that makes us who we are

From shyness and moral judgment to creativity and sexual preference, a fascinating new book shows how our personalities and human traits are written on our brains. Jeremy Laurance reports

The brain is our most complex but least understood organ. We can name its parts but our knowledge of what each part does, or how, is rudimentary. In The Brain Book, journalist Rita Carter has assembled what is known about the nerve centre of each individual and explains with the aid of images and graphics its structure, function and disorders. Click here to read the rest at The Independent

Related articles

Monday, September 28, 2009

Iran flips off the world

Iran missile test by J.D. Crowe, Mobile Register

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Spider Wranglers Weave One-Of-A-Kind Tapestry

by CHRISTOPHER JOYCE

This week in New York, the American Museum of Natural History unveiled something never before seen: an 11-by-4-foot tapestry made completely of spider silk.

Weavers in Madagascar took four years to make it, and the museum says there's no other like it in the world.

A stunning golden tapestry woven from spider silk is unveiled at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City after four years of work — and the help of more than 1 million spiders.

i

Photo by R. Mickens/AMNH

It's now in a glass case at the museum. The color is a radiant gold — the natural color of the golden orb-weaving spider, from the Nephilagenus, one that's found in several parts of the world.

Simon Peers, a textile maker who lives in Madagascar, conceived the project. Weaving spider silk is not traditional there; a French missionary dreamed it up over a century ago but failed at it. The only known spider silk tapestry was shown in Paris in 1900 but then disappeared. Click here to read the rest at npr

PHOTO ABOVE: by Simon Peers and Nicholas Godley

Two Nephila madagascariensis spiders that were used to create the golden tapestry.

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5 Things the Corporate Media Don't Want You to Know About Cannabis

Recent scientific reports suggest that pot doesn't destroy your brain, that it doesn't cause lung damage like tobacco -- but you won't hear it in the corporate media.

Writing in the journal Science nearly four decades ago, New York State University sociologist Erich Goode documented the media's complicity in maintaining cannabis prohibition.

He observed: "[T]ests and experiments purporting to demonstrate the ravages of marijuana consumption receive enormous attention from the media, and their findings become accepted as fact by the public. But when careful refutations of such research are published, or when later findings contradict the original pathological findings, they tend to be ignored or dismissed."

A glimpse of today's mainstream media landscape indicates that little has changed -- with news outlets continuing to, at best, underreport the publication of scientific studies that undermine the federal government's longstanding pot propaganda and, at worst, ignore them all together.

Here are five recent stories the mainstream media doesn't want you to know about pot: Click here to read the rest at AlterNet.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

History shows why we should get out of Afghanistan

By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 09/27/2009 01:30:17 AM PDT

Here we are. A country immersed in other nations' affairs for all the wrong reasons. We're deeply mired in wars with no clear-cut exit plan from either country we invaded, and now occupy. What happened to learning from history?

Remember Vietnam? The obvious similarity seems to escape our politicians and military. Historians agree that Vietnam shouldn't have happened and someone should have reined in McNamara before he led our military and country into the quicksand.

There are men and women in our military who remember helping the Taliban fight the Russians during their decade-long occupation of Afghanistan. We looked upon the Taliban as nationalists back then, people fighting for their freedom.

To prove we haven't learned our history lesson, we invaded Afghanistan and chased the Taliban out, calling them terrorists. They let our enemy Osama Bin Laden and his Al Qa'eda terrorists train there. Our politicians needed some measure of revenge for the 9/11 attack to show Americans, and the world, that we would not tolerate international terrorists. Click here to read the rest.